Bill Maher Blames Right-Wing Media For Charleston: ‘They Present a Really Twisted View’

On Friday, the host of Real Time with Bill Maher took aim at Republicans and conservative media for fostering the ‘twisted view’ adopted by Charleston shooter Dylann Roof.

06.20.15 3:12 AM ET

Bill Maher’s gloves came off on Friday, as the host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher slammed the right wing for influencing the warped worldview of Dylann Roof, the vile terrorist who shot nine African-Americans to death in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in order to, he said, “start a race war.” 

Specifically, Maher criticized right-wing media, including conservative-leaning news organizations like Fox News, The Drudge Report, and The Daily Caller, for helping to mold the racist mind of Roof.

“Well, we can never tell why someone snaps, but I bet you I can tell ya where he got his news,” Maher said. “I looked at [The Daily Caller] the last week, it was a lot of stories about black people. Same with Matt Drudge. I think they present a really twisted view. I’m not surprised this guy thought they’re ‘taking over the country.’ Obviously, he has a warped mind, that’s going into it, but I don’t think it was video games. And I do think the media is responsible to a degree. I wouldn’t say we should be droning Fox News, but we did drone Anwar al-Awlaki because he inspired people. He didn’t do terrorist acts, he just inspired them.”

“On Fox News, they could not decide if this was absolutely not the right time to talk about guns, or absolutely not the right time to talk about racism,” Maher continued. “And yet, you know, the shooter purposely went to a black church, he told the victims he had to do it because they were ‘taking over,’ he wore pro-Apartheid stickers on his jacket, his friends said he was big into segregation, he talked about starting ‘a race war,’ so naturally, when it comes to what motivated him, Republicans are stumped. They are. They cannot figure it out!”

Indeed, many Republican politicians refused to use the word “racism” when describing the motivations of Roof, despite a ton of evidence—including his own confession—to support that this was indeed a racially-motivated hate crime, and an atrocious act of terrorism.

“The Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, said, ‘We’ll never understand.’ Jeb Bush: ‘We can’t know.’ Jindal, Lindsay Graham, all of them said some version of, ‘It’s incomprehensible. There’s no way to know what motivated a racist to kill black people,’” said Maher. “Fellas, you know what? When a guy like this talks about, ‘The South will rise again,’ he’s not talking about IQ levels. This guy openly said he was trying to ‘start a race war,’ which is delusional, because if Donald Trump’s speech didn’t do it the day before, nothing will.”

Maher added: “There are words you can’t say on the right. One of them is taxes—as in we’re going to raise them—and one of them is racism. They hate being called ‘racists,’ conservatives, but isn’t denying racism in and of itself a form of racism?”

The Real Time panel also briefly weighed in on the Confederate flag which flies over the State Capitol of South Carolina, with Maher saying, “It’s a flag of treason! It’s a treasonous act!”

He opened the Charleston talk with a joke during his monologue about Roof.

“It’s amazing—these white men who believe they’re a member of the master race always look like the half-wit who sprays fungicide in the shoes of the bowling alley,” said Maher.